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High functioning alcoholic

I’ve been regular drinker for many years and I hate how alcohol controls my life. A colleague at work confided in me that he was a ‘functional alcoholic’ and I had never heard this term before, so I googled it. It described me. I am a high functioning alcoholic.


I never thought I was an alcoholic as my drinking never got in the way of my responsibilities. I work full time. I don’t drink and drive. I only drink at the end of the day after everything is done and dusted. I stopped drinking back in 2014 after this revelation and stayed sober for 14 months. Then I lapsed on a holiday and gradually slid the slippery slope back to the same regular drinking pattern (wine in the evenings). 


I know my drinking will eventually cause me serious health issues but I just can’t stay off it. I wake up in the middle of the night with the guilts, and I promise myself I’ll stop the next day, but that thinking only lasts till mid afternoon and then my whole thought patterns change. It’s like I am a different person. 


Can an anyone else relate to this? I need some advice on how to stop. I don’t want to attend AA. I am socially anxious and I could think of nothing worse. I’ve stopped before so I know I can do it. I just need to get into the right frame of mind to do it again and stay off the cursed stuff forever.  Thanks in advance. 



Re: High functioning alcoholic

@Loumarie Hi Loumarie you are definitely not alone. I have now been off alcohol for 2 years plus and it is hard even now as the temptation is always there. I like you liked to have wine at the end of the day when everything was done and that could mean when I was cooking dinner in the late afternoon ....


The only thing that has worked for me is to not drink at all. It is boring but true. It will be hard as the holiday season approaches but if you can no drink at all that will be the key to success. I wish you well. greenpea xx

Re: High functioning alcoholic

Thnaks for your reply greenpea. 2 years plus is great going, good for you! You have inspired me.

Re: High functioning alcoholic

Hi I can definitely relate to this I am in hospital for my drinking. I am definitely a high functioning alcoholic. I love nothing more than having a glass of sparkling wine at the end of the day. Evan now I still crave it. 


I checked into the hospital cos I knew if I didn't come in I would spend the day drunk.

Re: High functioning alcoholic

All the best to you for your treatment and recovery Lilyq.

Re: High functioning alcoholic

I can relate @Loumarie. Every time I've sobered up each time I've had a psych hospital stay  - as can't drink in there.  I maintain sobriety for a while.  But then commence drinking again.  It's a tough situation . But quitting is doable. 

If you normally drink in the evening,  keep as busy as possible so your mind is not on drinking. 

Re: High functioning alcoholic

Thanks for the advice, keeping busy certainly does help.

Re: High functioning alcoholic

Would recommend you look at AA meetings online, there are also chatrooms available. It's also good to educate yourself about the issue so you know what you are dealing with. Remember you're not giving up alcohol for the rest of your life... just for a day at a time.



Re: High functioning alcoholic

Hey @Loumarie,

I'm not quite the same as you, but I am also very similar if that makes sense. I got a lot of responsibilities and I'm not going to mess those up. I'm a big boss, trying to be a high flyer, running the show at work. I'm fully functional, no hangovers on a week day.

But I'm on it, Friday and Saturday. I know what you mean, my mind has a different focus Friday afternoon. I can hang tough most days and let the shit get pinned on me, but those weekend nights - it's all yeeeeow.

I'm also worried about my health.

So yeah, I do know what it's like. I'm with ya.

Re: High functioning alcoholic

Hi Loumarie,


I am not a professioanl in this space, but t I think the core thing you should look at why you are drinking. Part of it may be social pressures, but also quite possibly to deal with stress etc. Fixing what ever that trigger is may help you to reduce drinking.



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